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The Everyday Napkin

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St. Patrick's Day: Irish Bread Recipe

Modernizing a Holiday Tradition with The Everyday Napkin

My mom’s side of my family is about as Irish as you can get. She grew up in Southie and Dorchester and was at one point Massachusetts’ Irish Step Dancing State Champion. We never ate corned beef and cabbage (ever, much less on St. Patrick’s Day) but we did have store-bought Irish bread (sorry for throwing you under the bus, Mum!). I’m an adventurous cook and baker and several years ago I decided to make Irish bread from scratch! I’m a daily reader of The Kitchn so I found this great recipe for Irish soda bread. It’s fun, easy to make, and is a delicious breakfast treat to celebrate the holiday. Below you can check out how mine came out this year and how much more fun it was to enjoy it with The Everyday Napkin!

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Side notes on the recipe: I couldn’t seem to get my hands on a 2.5” cake pan so I used one that was about 2” deep. You’ll end up having more batter than you need so make sure you don’t over-fill the cake pan. I left about a half to quarter inch of room at the top. With regards to making a cross in the batter, I haven’t seemed to figure out the trick quite yet. I’ve even tried doing it after it’s been baking for a bit but it still hasn’t come out. If someone out there is able to make it happen, please share your secret! As a last note, everyone’s oven is different and I found that even after baking the bread 45 minutes at 375°, it still needed to bake for at least 7 more minutes. I’d love to hear other people’s versions of this recipe or stories of trying it!

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Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Maura

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TOP 10 THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT THE EVERYDAY NAPKIN

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Good Morning, everyone! I’m Maura!

You may know me from my Instagram handle, hauteinsouthie! Back in the fall, before we had eight feet of snow, I introduced myself to Kathryn at Neatly Nested’s 1st birthday party. It was the week before I was leaving my full-time job to pursue more creative work. Being surrounded by so many talented, creative ladies in one room that evening and lacking a new full-time job to transition to, I came up with the crazy idea to offer my time and gain some new learning experiences in the process. I had followed Kathryn on Instagram for a while and I not only loved her design style, but I was both comforted and inspired to see another smart, independent woman take a big risk and break free from her job to pursue her creative passions. I’m pretty tenacious so I decided to ignore the risk that Kathryn may be concerned that I was stalking her and went to her West Elm Friendsgiving event on a rainy Saturday morning to re-introduce myself. Then just after New Year’s, we caught up in her new studio and the rest is history!

Starting today, I’ll be giving you an inside look into the adventures as I assist with events and social engagement for the launch of Bash Studio’s new product, The Everyday Napkin! If this is [gasp] your first time hearing about The Everyday Napkin, let me tell you ten things that I personally love about Bash Studio's first product!

10 Things to Love About The Everyday Napkin

No. 1 They’re fun!

I’ve always used paper towels as my go-to napkin, which tend to be non-descript and pretty boring. When I use my brightly colored Everyday Napkins at home (even though I might be wearing sweatpants and sitting on the couch eating dinner in front of the TV) they make meals fun and I feel a little bit more put-together.

No. 2 Reusable and less wasteful

Unlike paper napkins, you can use The Everyday Napkin more than once. I usually don’t get my napkin very dirty (if at all) in one sitting, so it’s great to be able to reuse it all day; then toss it in the laundry when I’m done!

No. 3 Great for on-the-go

“Have napkin, will travel!” Kathryn often laughs because I carry my Everyday Napkins with me wherever I go and have been known to randomly whip a napkin out of my bag to put under my water bottle during a meeting or to use out at lunch.

No. 4 Easy to use and casual

Traditional cloth napkins tend to be larger and typically only used for formal occasions; afterwards many people send them to the dry cleaner and/or iron them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the financial resources to dry clean my napkins. I also loathe ironing with the fiery burning passion of a thousand suns. [P.S. Steamers saved my life. Thank you fashion industry experience!] The Everyday Napkin is slightly larger than a cocktail napkin and all you have to do is throw it in the washing machine when it’s time to be cleaned. Easy peasy.

No. 5 The perfect gift, Really.

Gift giving can be challenging. Sometimes you need a hostess gift. Sometimes you need a ‘Meet the Parents’ gift. I’ve often been limited by my gift recipients’ personal styles, hobbies, and allergies. Guess what? No one is allergic to napkins and everyone uses them. You’re welcome!

No. 6 #theeverydaynapkin

If you’ve seen my instagram, you know that I enjoy sharing everything from my sleeping puppy to what I ate for breakfast, all while attempting to create a styled image. We all love to capture the things we are most excited about but sometimes wish we had that thing to bring the photo all together. Well there is no doubt that The Everyday Napkin helps us create these "instagramable moments." From coffee to cookies, beers and bar carts, check out all the ways our fans have styled their Everyday Napkins and shared them using #theverydaynapkin.

No. 7 One-of-a-kind

The Everyday Napkin is made from found designer fabrics that then create limited collections that we can be a part of. Once the collection runs out, she's on to creating the next one! Wait until you see what's coming out for Spring and Summer!

No. 8 Locally made with love!

Many people are starting to pay attention to where their everyday products are made and grown. You can feel happy knowing that by purchasing The Everyday Napkin, you’re supporting a local company and that the napkins are handmade by Kathryn and her mom here in Massachusetts.

No. 9 Make us stop and think twice about the environment

Not only will your trash can be happier with less paper napkins and paper towels but the simple design and construction of The Everyday Napkin allows Kathryn and her mom to use found fabrics rather than creating new materials that require additional resources and energy. As a sewer, I’m also impressed that they include the selvedge into the napkins and make it look beautiful! Less waste = happy Earth = feeling good that you did something to help.

No. 10 They can be used in so many ways!

I’m at an age where every season is wedding season and although I love the idea of wedding favors, it always seems like an additional expense to the bride and groom that guests don’t usually use or keep. Imagine incorporating The Everyday Napkin as part of your table linens and then having them double as your wedding favor for your guest. That’s a memorable favor I can get behind and wouldn't mind receiving! And I happen to know a couple who may be doing just that pretty shortly!

I look forward to sharing more with you all soon, and in the mean time, head over to our shop and check our latest collections

Maura

 

Maura's photo by Amanada J Photography

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THANK YOU FOR THE [LOCAL] LOVE.

THANK YOU FOR THE [LOCAL] LOVE.

We had such a wonderful time at the BCAE's 2nd annual Local Love market this past Sunday! We trekked in the snow for our first official The Everyday Napkin pop-up and it was so worth it. Despite the crazy winter weather, we all agreed it was a huge success for us! Not only did we have a great turnout, but we learned a lot and got to meet some really awesome people. I can't thank everyone enough for coming out in the cold to check out our napkins and support us! And thank you to Kim and Andrew at the BCAE who made it all possible! THANK YOU!

And while we noshed on a couple of out-of-this-world donuts by Blackbird Donuts (congrats Rebecca & Stephen Gullo!), we met some other local artisans like ScoopiesPure7 Chocolate, and Extras by Alaina! And it's awesome to be surrounded by the support of Pop & CircumstancePosh & PrepNiche and Kitchen Millie! The energy and vibes were contagious.

Although I've created a few products before, none of them were mine to sell and potentially, the start of something special. But I had the idea, grabbed my mom, and together we ran with it. We condensed the process into only two and a half months . . . materials . . . samples . . . logo . . . packaging . . . and the rest (things like branding and design) I did with my eyes shut—almost! When I heard Local Love was happening again, I knew that participating would be an invaluable experience for us at this early early stage. There is nothing like putting your heart & soul out on the table with the anticipation of knowing you're going to gain feedback and learnings. Will people like these as much as we do? . . . Will they understand it enough to invest in it? . . . Will they believe in it enough to share it? . . . Will they have fun with it and appreciate it for what it is?

Sure enough, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Initial sales were more than I could have expected. You loved our linen and chambray styles and the napkin bar allowed you to create your own set. Our aqua edge was the fan favorite. You asked about how they would wash and were ok with their unique qualities. You liked to feel our product, hold it and see it in person. You understood why we should use cloth every day instead of paper. You listened, shared, took it home and had fun. Thank you, thank you.

Once we closed up shop for the day, even before we could all get home, the Instagram feed was flooding with love from all of you! Your styling is so thoughtful and sweet! Thank you for sharing your creativity and supporting The Everyday Napkin! Here are all of the great Instagram photos since our debut . . . 

This is just the beginning . . .

#theeverydaynapkin

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A Mini Photoshoot

Happy Monday!

Tucked away in Fort Point just as the storm started to quietly creep into Boston today, Maura and I styled four mini vignettes starring The Everyday Napkin! They looked so great as Nicole Bass (studio mate, friend and photographer) captured their beautiful color and handmade qualities. Thank you, Nicole! 

And a special shout out to Barrington Coffee Roasting Company for letting us feature their latte art! Stay tuned for our new photos to pop-up!

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